April 2, 2013 (Front page)
The Electoral Commission (EC) has requested the Supreme Court to order the petitioners challenging the results of the December 2012 presidential polls to provide further and better particulars on 28 locations where they alleged that voting took place without authority.
According to the EC, the petitioners have to date not complied with the court’s orders to provide further and better particulars on the said 28 locations.
The petitioners, in an amended petition, have alleged that voting took place at 28 locations which were not part of the 26,002 polling stations created by the EC, which has been sued alongside President John Dramani Mahama for allegedly padding results in favour of President Mahama.
While the petitioners are praying the court to determine whether or not voting took place in the alleged 28 locations and whether or not votes cast in those areas were factored into the results declared after the polls, the EC holds the position that the petitioners have till date not provided information on the alleged 28 locations.
To buttress its position that the petitioners had not provided further and better particulars on the said 28 locations, the EC, in a supplementary affidavit dated April 1, 2013 in response to the petitioners’ affidavit in opposition dated March 30, 2013, stated that the petitioners had provided 22 locations instead of the alleged 28 locations.
According to the EC, the said 22 locations after careful examination, "were all part of the 26,002 approved locations known to all political parties prior to the December, 2012 elections.
"That the non-inclusion of the allegation regarding the existence of polling stations in which results were recorded on pink sheets having the same serial numbers was an inadvertent omission which the second respondent is seeking leave of the Honourable Court to correct, " a supplementary affidavit deposed to by Mr Amadu Sulley, a Deputy Chairman in-charge of Finance and Administration stated on behalf of the EC.
In a motion on notice for an order for further and better particulars filed on behalf of the EC by its solicitors, Lynes, Quarshie-Idun and Co., on March 28, 2013, the EC stated that the petitioners had failed to comply with the court’s February 5 and 7, 2013 rulings which directed the petitioners to provide further and better particulars.
According to the EC, although the court obliged and granted the EC’s request, the petitioners had to date not furnished it with further and better particulars on the said 28 locations.
The conductor of the polls, which is also the second respondent in the petition, is also seeking leave of the court to file an amended answer to the petitioners’ allegation regarding instances of two polling stations recording votes on statement of poll and declaration of results forms (pink sheets) bearing the same serial numbers.
The petitioners had in their original petition alleged that gross and widespread irregularities took place at 4,709 polling stations but amended the petition to increase the number to 11,916 after further assessment of the results declared by the EC on December 9, 2012.
The EC’s motion is expected to be heard today, April 2, 2013.
Rule 69 A (4) of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Rules, 2012 (C.I. 74), says a respondent may apply for further and better particulars in order to prepare adequately for a case.
The parties in the case are accordingly premising their claims for more information on this rule.
According to the petitioners, who are the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, his running mate, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, and the Chairman of the NPP, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, gross and widespread irregularities took place in 11,916 polling stations.
They are, therefore, calling for the annulment of 4,670,504 votes cast in those polling stations.
But President Mahama, the EC and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have denied any wrongdoing, and are of the view that the polls were free, fair and transparent and for that reason, results declared were credible and accurate.
The nine-member Supreme Court panel, presided over by Mr Justice William Atuguba, with Mr Justice Julius Ansah, Mrs Justice Sophia Adinyira, Ms Justice Rose Owusu, Mr Justice Jones Dotse, Mr Justice Annin Yeboah, Mr Justice P. Baffoe-Bonnie, Mr Justice N. S. Gbadegbe and Mrs Justice Vida Akoto-Bamfo are expected to hear the EC’s application and arrive at a decision.